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Sorcery of Thorns

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From the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens comes an imaginative fantasy about an apprentice at a magical library who must battle a powerful sorcerer to save her kingdom.

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

465 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 4, 2019

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About the author

Margaret Rogerson

4 books12k followers
Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she's not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms.

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Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews150k followers
August 11, 2022
Perhaps the cruelest and kindest thing a good book does is make you believe you live inside it for the space of a few hundred pages. That you are a part of something, part of its world, not just skating around the edges, too tied up in yourself to join in…and then it ends and the illusion winks out, like a snuffed flame, and you’re left marooned, adrift, your head chilled in its absence.

From the first page, the real world takes a seat at the back, and Rogerson’s imaginary one holds center stage. In this world, books are a soft warding from the beings that stalk the night and trapdoors to something beautiful and wicked that trickles beneath the surface. But when damaged, even inadvertently, they mutate into ravening monsters rising up in fury, the warp spreading from the pages as sinuously as ink clouding through a glass of clean water, and they are called “Malefics.”

The gist of the story concerns Elisabeth Scrivener who is an orphan raised in the Great library of Summershall where she learned the delicate arts of tending to books and the blunter arts of guarding them against the world and guarding the world against them. Her apprenticeship as a warden has barely begun when Elisabeth wakes up one night to find the library’s Director killed and a Malefic free to loosen its wrath on her city. Elisabeth fights the monster, but before she can even begin to comprehend the magnitude of what happened, she is branded a murderer and a traitor and the charge of her punishment is given to the Magisterium.

When the Great libraries start falling under attack, Elisabeth begins to realize that someone is gathering arms against the Great libraries, colluding in treacheries. Growing resigned to anyone believing her account, Elisabeth seeks the help of Nathaniel Thorn, a sorcerer whose family is dogged with rumors of necromancy, and together they are soon yanked into the machinations of blood, greed and power. Revelations turn truths Elisabeth had known all her life into a tripwire primed to catch her off balance, and danger is dragged to her feet before she even sought it.

Ink and parchment flowed through her veins. The magic of the Great Libraries lived in her very bones. They were a part of her, and she a part of them.


As familiar as the novel’s template is, Rogerson’s success lies in the way she infuses exhilarating new life into it through tenderly compelling characters, luxurious writing and an exquisitely wrought premise. I liked how the author takes several classic fantasy tropes and makes them seem utterly fresh on the page. The result is an immensely immersive novel, as graceful and thoughtful as it is action-packed and pulse-pounding.

Of course, no fantasy setting, however fresh and interesting, springs to life without strong characters to navigate it. On that end, Sorcery of Thorns delivers. The novel’s characters are engaging, and the relationships between them occupy center stage.

Elisabeth’s character takes on a magical aura all her own. Rogerson boldly, brilliantly places her protagonist at the center of a sprawling conflict, and with great relish, she begins to undermine what Elisabeth understands about magic, grimoires, libraries, and her role in it. She challenges not only everything Elisabeth knows, but everything she has come to learn and think about herself. This works so well because Elisabeth has such compelling blend of wide-eyed vulnerability and world-weary wryness. There's an edge to Elisabeth that I really liked too, a keenness of anger and determination, and it's what anchors a very moving journey of self-realization.

Although the supporting cast of characters is not granted a vivacity as stark as Elisabeth’s, together they make a compelling whole. Nathanial Thorn is rich, handsome, and beset by a tragic past. Not to mention: seductive toward men and women alike and blessed with a set of social graces that makes him look irresistible and charming. The perfect YA fantasy archetype. Nathanial is also secretive and strangely solitary in the space everyone else gives him. His mysterious barter with his unsettlingly taciturn servant, his tormented nightmares, the secrets we glimpse only quickly through the corridors of his mansion... all of these things kept me glued to the page. Like Elisabeth, I wanted to shatter the cold mask of stone that Nathaniel seemed to slip down over himself in her presence.

If there’s a failing in Sorcery of Thorns, it’s that the ending feels rushed in the novel’s last few chapters, and too easy to believe (the narrative might have handed the characters a few too many gifts). Minor quibble notwithstanding, Sorcery of Thorns is an enjoyable read, and I kind of hope the author writes more in this world.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
257 reviews4,849 followers
December 22, 2018
I can't stop smiling. Margaret blows me away every time!

Sorcery of Thorns is equal parts whimsical, flirtatious, and totally hysterical, while still managing to deliver a gut-punch of feels on more than one occasion. This story is an absolute blast to read, and kept me thoroughly entertained all the way through.

First we have Elizabeth, a library apprentice of sorts. She's tall, fierce, yet has the gentlest of hearts. Time and time again, she charges headfirst into danger and drags us with her, and her cleverness and willpower never disappoint. I'd follow her anywhere. Literally.

Elizabeth's world is upheaved when a grimoire (yep you heard me) escapes the library. Mind you, grimoires are no ordinary books. In this world, they are quite alive with minds of their own - and can be very dangerous. Elizabeth, who's well aware of this danger, charges after it (of course, it isn't in 'book' form anymore and is now a rather grotesque lard-of-a-monster) to try and save her town from destruction. And while she succeeds (because she's a badass), she's accused of treason for letting it escape in the first place.

Which means she's shipped off to who-knows-where, now in the charge of a sorcerer.

Only, that sorcerer is Nathaniel and he's quite literally the best.

But Elizabeth doesn't know that, and she certainly doesn't trust him (because sorcerers are evil apparently). And, typical Elizabeth isn't going to sit still while evil-hot-sorcerer-dude carts her away and disposes her body. Naturally, she tries to escape.

But alas! Sorcerer dude Nathaniel isn't going to let her get away (though he'll roll his eyes a time or two because ugh she's impossible). And his butler, of all people, seems to have spooky-special powers that ensure Elizabeth fails in every attempt.

So Elizabeth, our strong-willed heroine, is stuck with hawt and untrustworthy Nathaniel, and his creepy butler-friend-thing-who-clearly-has-powers.

As usual, I'm not going to spoil much more, but suffice it to say, things don't go as planned. Because don't forget! Somehow that grimoire escaped. And if it wasn't Elizabeth, who was it? Ah! There is evil afoot, friends, and as I'd hoped, it forces Eizabeth and Nathaniel to team up and uproot it.

Only, they may be over their heads.

So I leave you with this: Make room in your hearts! We have on our hands a new story with gorgeous prose (as expected), absolute hysterical banter, new precious characters, and a riveting hate-to-love ship. I can't even pick what I love the most - the incredible world-building (omg can this be a movie?) or the brilliant prose. Or the characters, who are as real as they are fantastical.

And! That! End!

The last page. I actually gasped aloud and scared my cat.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter
Profile Image for Margaret Rogerson.
Author 4 books12k followers
Read
April 2, 2019
Hi, all! I don’t spend much time here (I view this as a place for readers, not me), but now that Sorcery of Thorns is appearing on people’s radars, I thought it would be a good opportunity to mention a couple of things.

Firstly: Sorcery is quite a different book than An Enchantment of Ravens, which may be helpful for readers to know in advance. Probably the best way to put it is that Enchantment is a fairy tale romance, while Sorcery is an epic fantasy. Sorcery does have a romance, but it’s a subplot, not the main focus of the story. I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing it—and hope you enjoy venturing into this world’s perilous magical libraries alongside Elisabeth Scrivener. Sorcery is also a standalone book, completely unrelated to my previous novel.

Secondly, I don’t believe Sorcery requires any major content warnings, but I’d like to run through a few possible triggers just in case. They are as follows:

Body horror associated with the books-turned-monsters
Minor, brief self-injury when characters draw blood for magical rituals
Implied/referenced sexual assault (not graphic, nothing described on page)
Children disciplined using corporal punishment (think Dickens; again, not shown on page)
Victorian-era attitudes about mental health—hysteria, etc

If you have any questions about these or want to know about any other specific potential triggers and/or page numbers, feel free to reach out me and I’ll get back to you ASAP! I’m going to vanish from Goodreads again after I post this, so please contact me on Twitter, Tumblr, or via the email address listed on my website.
Profile Image for Hannah Azerang.
124 reviews90.2k followers
May 30, 2022
my favorite book of the year and a new all time favorite 🤍
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,610 reviews5,009 followers
January 10, 2023
#1 Sorcery of Thorns ★★★★★
#1.5 Mysteries of Thorn Manor ★★★★★

She wasn’t a wielder of chains; she was a breaker of them. She was the library’s will made flesh.

I never do this, but I’m going to give you all a TL;DR for this review, just in case you’re in a hurry and need me to get the point across quickly: This is one of the best books I have read in my entire life, and if there is any single book I could beg you to purchase this year, it is Sorcery of Thorns.

“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”

After adoring Margaret’s debut, An Enchantment of Ravens, it felt blaringly obvious that I would love this, too, but I had no idea how much my love for this world, this story, and these characters would blow Enchantment out of the water. The lore and world-building are so gorgeous and intricate, particularly surrounding the grimoires.

Books, too, had hearts, though they were not the same as people’s, and a book’s heart could be broken; she had seen it happen before. Grimoires that refused to open, their voices gone silent, or whose ink faded and bled across the pages like tears.

You see, you might know that this book is about books, and magic, and libraries, but what I loved most is that there are no simple books in Sorcery. Grimoires are living, feeling creatures, capable of good or bad, kindness or scorn, and most of all, of being corrupted. Elisabeth, having grown up in a library (literally), is more familiar than most with the grimoires, and her level of respect and adoration for them made me ache. As another adult who grew up with books as my closest friends, I loved how easily I related to her desperate need to be surrounded by books and to take care of them. (After all, it’s why I became a librarian, too!)

For these were not ordinary books the libraries kept. They were knowledge, given life. Wisdom, given voice.

Margaret’s care in crafting these grimoires is evident from the start, but as the story progresses, I was amazed at how important a piece of the story they became. I won’t spoil anything, but I will tell you that I have never in my life literally sobbed over a narrative about books in my life until this story.

“You belonged in the library, as much as any book.”

Of course, that’s enough about the grimoires, because the primary star of the show is Elisabeth, and hell, she deserves an entire review dedicated solely to what an incredible, hilarious, witty, kind, lovable character she is. She’s clumsy and awkward in all the best ways, and she genuinely leaps right off the page with her general realness. There’s a sub-plot line involving her and the development of PTSD that felt so honest and authentic, it broke my heart for her every time it reared its head and made me root that much harder for her successes and happiness.

“Are all librarians like you, or is it only the feral ones who have been raised by booklice?”

Sharing the spotlight is our love interest, the infamous, talented, handsome (and casually queer!) sorcerer Nathaniel, and his demon servant/companion Silas, either of whom I would happily protect at all costs because they are precious and not to be trifled with. Okay, Nathaniel could probably use a little trifling-with in his life, particularly because he responds with disarmingly hilarious nonchalance to every minor or major disaster Elisabeth drags him into. Silas, on the other hand… well, you’ll just have to meet him for yourself, but I don’t think anyone could not love his grouchy, quietly protective demonic self.

“It’s an honor to fight by your side, Elisabeth, for however long it lasts.”

Oh, and I can’t pass up the opportunity to mention the romance! It’s fairly slow-burning, and it forms in the most natural, beautiful way. I loved watching Elisabeth and Nathaniel grow to trust one another, become friends, and gradually recognize the fact that neither of them could fathom this adventure without the other. If you all could see the number of tabs I used just on Nathaniel’s sweet admissions of affection, wow. I might have also tabbed every single instance in which Nathaniel called Elisabeth “you absolute menace”, because if that didn’t sum up their relationship as a whole, I don’t know what could have. My heart is so full.

She felt as though she stood on a precipice, and that if she leaned forward, she would fall. She would fall, and drown with him; she would never resurface for air.

Beyond all of this, the plot in this story is so engaging and suspenseful! I’d been reading Sorcery as slowly as I could stand to, because I knew I would be devastated when it ended, but once I hit the last hundred pages or so, I couldn’t be interrupted for anything because I simply had to know what happened next—and reader, let me tell you, not a single word in this story disappointed me. For every expectation I had of this book, Margaret surpassed it by a country mile.

“Of course you can stay, you menace. It isn’t as though I could stop you even if I wanted to. And fine, I’ll help you. Not for any noble reason. I still think it’s a lost cause. We’re probably going to get ourselves killed. But every man has his limits. If there’s one thing I can’t do, it’s stand by and watch you demolish irreplaceable antiques.”

As you can see, from the fact that I’m forcing myself now to refrain from writing another entire page to this review about all of the things I adored in Sorcery of Thorns, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is easily my favorite read of 2019, and one of my favorite reads of all time. It touched my heart in a million places and a million ways I could never have predicted and will never fully recover from, frankly. I can’t wait to reread it over and over again, and more than that, I can’t wait to see what Margaret writes next.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to the author for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Profile Image for  Teodora .
279 reviews1,534 followers
December 15, 2022
5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

“Most people grow out of fairy stories,” he said. “Why did you carry on believing, when the rest of the world did not?”
“What is the point of life if you don’t believe in anything?” she asked instead.

Do you want some thoughts on this book? Imma give you some thoughts on this book. I loved the hell out of it!

If you did not read this book, I tell you to do just that ASAP because I, too, have been sleeping on it for far too long and now I feel bad about it.

Thanks to one of my Goodreads friends I actually got to read it and I fell in love with it from the first chapters. Like, ugh, the spell this book has put on me was absolutely unbelievable. Too few books make me love them so briskly.

description

Let’s start with the basics.
I LOVE THE COVER.

You know me, with my endless fascination for covers. Well, this one is so beautiful and so aesthetically pleasing I just couldn’t help but mention its awesomeness.

Then, moving on to a more serious topic, I have to say that the world in this book is something very solid-looking, even though there are no elaborate passages depicting every inch of it. There are details thrown in here and there that help the reader make up the world like a puzzle, the final outcome being more than satisfactory. You only need a few names of places and a bit of history to make a world look real.

To me, Sorcery of Thorns gives off such Harry Potter-ish vibes I couldn’t help but thoroughly enjoy! There is something in its essence theme, something tied to libraries and books and magic and knowledge, that just appealed to me. As a certified bookworm, I think this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it is still nice to acknowledge it.

“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”

The fact that all those amazing, bookworm-ish elements get to tag along with some dark features like demon summoning just gives the whole atmosphere of the book a nice, cool breeze.

The action itself is very good. It flows and it is interesting to see how certain ideas are put into place and how are they going to turn out. With magic involved, one could never be more careful, am I right? Sorcery is unpredictable and so, it makes the plot a bit more complicated. Which is amazing because who likes a lame plot?

My favourite thing about this book though are the characters.
Such amazingly lovable characters, only the devils bellow know how they can be this way. I felt a deep connection to them after just a few words uttered out of their mouths.

Elisabeth is a total chaos, but I swear I love her. She is childish, but in a sweet way, and the fact that she is so fearless and so strong and tall just adds to the charm of her. But, seriously now, can we talk about the fact that tall girls in books are so underappreciated like for real, sisters do exist and they are some sort of goddesses too. As a 5’4’’ girl, all I can say that I admire tall girls from down here on the ground.

Elisabeth, you voice of tall and brave and sweet girls, you are a legend. And not only for that, but for the open-mindedness and courage you have.

“She now understood that the world wasn’t kind to young women, especially when they behaved in ways men didn’t like, and spoke truths that men weren’t ready to hear.”

Nathaniel is a boy to melt for. He is supposed to be this fancy-ass sorcerer who sacrifices virgins and drinks their blood from a golden chalice every month with full moon, but in fact he is only a lonely boy.

He is so damn witty and he has this air about him that makes him funny in a way that is not goofy, but it’s sweet. There really is something about Nathaniel that made me categorise him as swoon-worthy, whether if it was his smart mouth or his confidence or his loyalty or his silver streak in his black hair, I don’t care. He is lovable.

And also, I don’t want to forget about Silas.
Well, Silas is a demon I could die for. He’s too precious. And even though he really is a savage creature, soulless and selfish, he’s still a cute, fluffy kitten. I would kill for a friend like Silas.

description

I am actually super pleased with this book. And, honestly, I wanted more. It is a shame that it is only a standalone because I could definitely sense some other great adventure that might’ve taken place after all the action was done.

I think I might say that because I simply haven’t had enough of those amazingly lovable and adorable characters, but I do want to read more of them. There is a certain dose of addiction that I tasted and I am not done with.

All jokes aside, more Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas, please? It would mean the world to me, thanks.

description
@natt_lux_art

(Book-styled)
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,588 reviews153k followers
April 5, 2021
description
That cover is simply enchanting and the blurb sounds amazing!

I cannot wait for it to be released!

Update

FINALLY got around to reading it and it was every bit as amazing as I hoped!

I loved the fact that our main character was raised in a library and that she could speak to the books.

The magic system was totally out of this world and I was LIVING for it.

I also adored the love interest and the slow (but sure) burn that accompanied it.

Keeping my fingers crossed for another one!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Sabaa Tahir.
Author 20 books31.2k followers
August 26, 2019
This is the YA Fantasy about libraries and living, breathing books that I didn't know I needed. Fell in love within like 20 pages and then ripped through the rest. Loved the characters, loved the ending, just loved it full stop. Silas was my favorite! Highly recommend.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,480 reviews29.7k followers
January 26, 2023
‘for all the girls who found themselves in books.’

yaaassss! we stan a fantasy queen who both acknowledges AND writes stories for us bookworms. <3

i know i wont be the only reader who sees a little bit of themself in elisabeth; for being able to relate, on such a personal level, to her love of books, for seeing them as companions, and forever feeling at home in their company/in a library.

and this story is every bit deserving of having such a remarkable character. there is so much balance to this story, that i honestly couldnt have asked for anything more. elisabeths fierce loyalty is a match for nathaniels charm and humour. the fast-paced plot is evened out with with meaningful scenes and narration. and the enchanting magic is made even more alluring with the personal growth and development of the characters because of it.

this story is perfection for lovers of books and sorcery and i wouldnt have it any other way.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,156 reviews97.7k followers
August 14, 2021

ARC provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been looking for a story all about someone living in a library, surrounded by magical books, while also going on adventure after adventure, for my entire life. And I truly believe that not only did Margaret Rogerson give me that, she is giving the YA literature community a gift from above. I feel like when An Enchantment of Ravens came out most people loved it, but it did seem a little bit polarizing, while I liked it but I never was in love with it. But Sorcery of Thorns captivated me from page one, and I adored it so very much that there was never a moment that I wanted to shut this very magical book and stop reading.

And like I said above, this is a story all about a girl named Elisabeth who has grown up in a library all of her life. She wants to eventually be a Warden, who is a person who protects the library, the people, and the books, because some books in this world are very much alive and are capable of doing some very bad things. But one night, when there is an attack at the library and the surrounding town, she takes it upon herself to defend the only home she has ever known. Yet, this act ends up making her the only suspect in the crime.

“Dreadful things roam the shadows while the human world sleeps.”

So, Elisabeth gets sent away and is forced to travel alongside a nobleman and sorcerer named Nathaniel Thorn, who also has a companion named Silas who happens to be a demon. In this world, the old royal families have all made pacts with demons to give them magical powers, and these pacts are passed down from generation to generation, but at a cost. Also, Silas is easily my favorite character in this book and I would die for him this very instant.

But Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas’s paths all continue to cross while Elisabeth is trying to prove her innocence, while also stumbling upon a conspiracy theory to end all other conspiracy theories about what is really happening to the libraries in this world. And the adventures they go on, the secrets they unfold, and the discoveries they make together, was nothing short of a treat to read.

The thing that I didn’t love about this book, and the reason I am giving it four stars, is because I didn’t love the very vague representation. Obviously, I want authors to write what they want to write and what they feel comfortable with, but this was a little too subtly done for me. Yes, we have a main character that does express attraction to more than one gender, which I am always going to be living for, but we get a very brushed off moment with a very minor character being on the ace spectrum. Also, I think another leading character could possibly also be on the ace spectrum, but the representation in this book is so quiet that you are constantly left second guessing yourself while reading, and it feels bad, even with the excuse that this story is set in a fantasy world because the mentions are so very brief, too.

Overall, I did love this story. It was so unique and so whimsical; I couldn’t resist getting completely swept off my feet. I loved all three characters and their dark backgrounds, while gaining so much hope for their futures. I loved the writing and all the twists and turns that this adventure packed story delivered. I loved the historical setting, which is very reminiscent of The Infernal Devices! I loved the romance even though it was such a slow-burn that I wanted to scream in the best way possible! I just loved it all, and I can’t wait to see what Margaret Rogerson does next! Especially because this is a standalone, but I could totally see more in this world after that last page.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and Trigger Warnings: anxiety depiction, anxiety attacks, talk of loss of a loved one, captivity, talk of forced institutionalization, and violence.

Buddy read with Alexa, Kristin, & Alana! ❤
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
364 reviews949 followers
June 26, 2021
PHENOMENAL.

- The slowest of slow burns
- Nuanced and well developed characters
- A compelling and magical ride

I LOVED THIS. Margaret Rogerson is well on her way to becoming a new favourite author of mine. This was a follow-up novel done RIGHT.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,372 reviews9,447 followers
August 8, 2019
June Fairyloot Box! Well, here I am again with the same book 3 times! BUT, I'm trading in my green edition and keeping this stained Fairyloot Edition as well as the Purple Owlcrate edition. So it all worked out! Click the link under the picture to see the amazing goodies in this box!!



FAIRYLOOT GOODIES

June Owlcrate Box. Well, I already have the book but this one has a purple cover soo.. keep them both! =D Click on link below the pic to see the goodies.



OWLCRATE GOODIES

I made some bookmarks today. This one I like okay. I feel I could have made it better. AND! I used my new cutter so I wouldn’t get those little white parts on the bookmark and didn’t anyway because I didn’t practice! 🙄



I loved Enchantment of Ravens sooo much! And I love this one too! AND SILAS!!! I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! JUST SAYIN'!





Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews109k followers
September 19, 2019
I was wondering why I found myself underwhelmed throughout reading this book and I realize that it might be because I prefer Rogerson to write short, simple, romantic stories rather than trying to make a complex fantasy narrative. I appreciate the unique concept and world that she tried to convey, but I think there was a disconnect between that and the actual execution. I was aware of her intentions with the whimsical world building, snarky love interest, secretly soft demon, etc. but it didn’t impact me as intended. There were several times throughout the book where I found myself dragging to get through the unnecessarily long story and felt bogged down by it. There was no romantic chemistry between the couple at all, and the villain is one-dimensional and mustache-twirling. There are merits to this book and I appreciate the effort to create a unique type of fantasy story, but this wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,069 reviews38.2k followers
August 6, 2021
Nooo! Nooo! Nooo! It cannot end like this! This book urgently needs a sequel. All those amazing characters already stole my heart and grew on me that’s why I didn’t want to let them go.

There are too many things to adore about this story starting with a librarian heroine, Elizabeth who better connects with the magical world of books instead of forming a relationship with real humans. ( I agree to that book cannot make you pissed off so much and devastatingly break your heart! Okay, I’m taking back! Because they really can!) So Elizabeth naturally grew in this library and was raised by this book so eventually she felt like she needed to become the Warden, a devoted protector of the books. But unexpected attack to the library ruins her life. Not only her true home was affected by this merciless, violent attack, but also she was unfairly blamed by the town people.

So as a punishment she was sent to a journey with a nobleman and a sorcerer. So we’re introduced our deliciously entertaining characters throughout this journey.

But my most favorite character I truly fell for… what for it… a demon… SILAS is playful, smart, sarcastic, charming. And of course we have another charismatic character, NATHANIEL THORN ( fascinating, burned, complex, another sarcastic character) Eventually we witness the slow burn romance between Elizabeth and him. But as you may imagine I root for team Silas and I wish Elizabeth and him had their special romantic moments. (They could be controversial but interesting couple, don’t you think?)
Slow burn romance fit well with mysterious they encounter. Elizabeth tries to prove her innocence but as soon as she thinks she finds the true answer about what happens to those libraries in their world, another unexpected twist makes her stumble and trio’s ambition and determination to learn the secrets and find the truth hid behind the mysterious elements and their heart throbbing journey were memorable elements of the book.

What I didn’t like it is the PACING. It was too fast and making you feel like you’re joining a fantasy book marathon. You start to connect and love those characters and you wish their journey could be longer. I expected this book is the first reading of a trilogy but well it’s gone with the wind. Flied away! Oh Silas,you deserve your own book sequel. Maybe I should start a campaign to convince the author to write more books about him because he definitely deserves more pages and I wanted to know more about his past and his future journeys.

As a summary, I liked those characters’ way of facing their dark pasts and their strength to pass through the obstacles, their relationship dynamics, all those schemes and twists of the story worked really well with me. I am so happy to read debut work of a brilliant writer but I wish it could be a little slower, more detailed, longer. But I mostly enjoyed the writing and cannot wait to read more books of the author.

P.S.: Please please please write more about Silas and name the book as “Irresistible Charm of Demon”!!! I guarantee that I could reread it over and over again!!!

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Profile Image for Kat.
256 reviews78.7k followers
September 25, 2019
OK HERE'S A BREAKDOWN:

stuff i liked:
-just a really, genuinely fun read tbh. i honestly can't think of the last YA fantasy book that made me yELL the way this one did
-silas, duh
-nathaniel and elisabeth's relationship (separately, they were nothing special. but together?? delightful). I thought that enemies to lovers was executed well enough (even if it waaaas kinda fast, but anyway) AND Nathaniel was snarky and mysterious without being a complete asshole, which is *oh* so rare

stuff i disliked:
-the convenience of the plot. they should all be dead, end of story. (if I was doing this review right I'd talk about how the lack of consequences as a result of this = boring read in respects to action and in a high fantasy book action is sorta kinda maybe important blah blah blah but let's just move on)
-the explanation of why elisabeth was so special was ??? not an explanation ?? also ????
-the writing def fell into that "trying to be pretty and lyrical so let's just say things that don't really make sense" category
-elisabeth's naivety throughout led to a lot of info-dump world building

ultimately, it was an entertaining read, albeit a flawed one, so we're going with a 3/5. that may seem low given the hype that this book has received this year, but seeing as i DNF'd this author's debut 20 pages in and never looked back, i'd say this book showed great improvement :)







Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
July 26, 2019
THIS BOOK SAID TALL GIRL RIGHTS!!!! THIS BOOK SAID BISEXUAL RIGHTS!!!!!

Don't let this book fool you and let you think it's just another author trying to capitalize off of having the word "Thorns" in the title to appear like a Sarah J. Maas knock-off. This is my favorite book of 2019, and Sarah J. Maas should be SHAKING right now. I read this author's debut book, An Enchantment of Ravens, and hated it, so I was skeptical going into it. But I knew within the first chapter of this book that it was going to be something else entirely on a whole different level, and it was. The glow up this author went through, in my opinion, is UNREAL.

The writing style? STUNNING
The characters? BRILLIANT
The romance? SOFT
The plot? I'M RUNNING OUT OF ADJECTIVES

When I say this book is unique, I don't mean it's ~special~ or it's ~interesting~. I mean there is literally not a single book out there that has done what this book has done. It has the cozy, library vibe of Harry Potter. It has the demonic tinge and 19th century flare of The Infernal Devices. It has the magical angst of a Sarah J. Maas book. And yet it did all of that together flawlessly, and better than all the previous series combined.

I adored the main character, who was a wallflower and quiet but also had a side of her that was fiercely loyal, honest, and willing to question injustice. I'm always a sucker for characters who fight to do good despite their circumstances, and Elisabeth definitely embodied that. I particularly loved her because SHE SUFFERS FROM PANIC ATTACKS!!! and yet is a smart, badass heroine. Also, she is described as being tall and that fact is very present in the book, and it made my tall girl heart soar!! Nathaniel was also a dynamic character who both filled the role of sassy, broody, BISEXUAL!!!!! love interest but was also an entire person on his own with a lineage and backstory that speaks a lot to his development. Them together was such an interesting pair and would I have complained if we got more smut? Absolutely not.


For the majority of this book, I did not have a single complaint. It was gripping with everyone scene flowing seamlessly to the next. I adored every side character. The writing was magnificent and awe-inspiring; flowery without being too self-important. The characters jumped off the page and had realistic moral complexities. Typing this review, I feel like my fingers can't move fast enough to list its good qualities. But the one part (literally, the single only thing) that I wish this book were stronger about was the development of the villain. The main character discovers very quickly who is behind all of the nefarious activities going on, and from there, it's a pretty straight line to preventing that person from succeeding in their great plans. Although I feel the magical and political conflict was developed well, I wish the villain's side of the story were better explained or maybe even reworked to be less generic because the evil they were stopping was massive, and yet it felt like the reason that evil was being provoked was something quite basic and irrelevant.

But despite that small grievance, I will be camping out on this author's doorstep for a sequel. I know it's a standalone, but these characters and this world have captured my heart and I refuse to let go. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. I don't have a good enough parting line to leave you with other than this is going to be my obsession for a very long time and I will stop at nothing to insist you all read it immediately.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
525 reviews56.7k followers
March 5, 2020
(3.75) I haven't kept up with the new popular YA Fantasy but I decided to give this one a shot.

To be fair, I thought it was about fairies so... clearly I knew nothing about this.

Magical books, libraries, interesting enough story and characters. I didn't care much for the romance but let's be real, I rarely do and it wasn't overwhelming. The ending (well last quarter of the book) was weaker in my opinion but it was a light, quick and fun read.

If you usually enjoy YA Fantasy, give this one a shot!
Profile Image for Haley pham.
58 reviews60.1k followers
August 18, 2022
3.5 stars!!
When I first started the book I got so excited that this would be so magical and fun (a library setting with books that are alive???) but then…I got a little bored…and then…the ending felt like a fever dream and I was thinking about what book I was excited to read once I got through this one. Sooooooo. Dang :/
Profile Image for chloe.
238 reviews27.8k followers
July 18, 2019
“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell”

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I loved it! The writing, the characters, the setting, the banter, the romance - I pretty much loved everything about this! It didn't quite reach the full 5 stars for me, but I had the best time reading it and I'm now super interested in reading An Enchantment of Ravens!
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,088 reviews6,590 followers
June 28, 2019
REASONS TO READ THIS INCREDIBLE BOOK:

1. The MC is a badass, sword-wielding, book lover who grew up in a magical library.
2. The love interest is a bisexual sorcerer who gives off major sexy slytherin vibes
3. His best friend is a demon who sometimes turns into a cat.
4. There's an ace side character (it's not on page but is heavily implied)
5. The whole book is feminist AF
6. It's set in 1824 in an alternate world
7. Parsifal is the CUTEST cinnamon roll ever to exist.
8. Books can talk and can turn into monsters and are rated on a scale as to how dangerous they are.
9. The whole book is magical AF and gives off major Hogwarts library vibes.

NEED I SAY MORE?
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,390 reviews77.2k followers
October 17, 2022
I'm so bummed, because I had a paper where I noted my favorite quotes and corresponding page numbers tucked into my hardcopy of this book, but I seem to have misplaced it. 😿 No matter, I will carry on and you will now know that I had so many quotes I loved from this book and there simply wasn't enough room here to include them.

Me, rushing to tell you all about this book:

description

Sometimes, I think the entire experience surrounding a book contributes to our giving it 5 stars, rather than just the story itself and my experience with Sorcery of Thorns is a perfect example of this. Picture with me, a woman who is technically in Barnes and Noble shopping for her daughter, but clearly must snoop around, lest she miss any new releases, and stumbles upon a cover she has seen on numerous occasions, but never took the time to read the synopsis. I thought it sounded good, the cover was stunning, and after seeing Meltotheany gave this one the green light, I did something I haven't done in years: I bought the dang book and started reading it the moment I got home. 😮 I'm so used to drowning in ARCs and not picking up a book until months or YEARS later, that this simple act was revolutionary to my reading slump. Long story short, my new goal is to get to a place where 75% of my reading is done in this manner.

description

What's this book about? Glad you asked! It's about magical libraries, and the humans who protect the books that populate these sacred buildings. It's about sorcerers and demons, and a girl's journey on discovering how everything she's ever known may not be the gospel truth. It's about a journey to save the world from unparalleled evil, but also a journey in one's finding their self. It's romantic and inclusive and did I mention it features one of my favorite antiheroes of all time? This blubbering mess of a paragraph probably doesn't help you in figuring out exactly what this book is, but I'd rather leave it up to you to read for yourself. If you enjoy character driven fantasy with a wispy, slow building romance, noteworthy platonic relationships, and a diverse cast that doesn't feel included solely to be politically correct, you may enjoy this book as well. Also? I hope you love Silas as much as I did. 💖
Profile Image for Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading.
666 reviews1,498 followers
June 24, 2020


“Ink and parchment flowed through her veins. The magic of the Great Libraries lived in her very bones. They were a part of her, and she a part of them.”

I always thought booklice were a nuisance until I read this book, and Elisabeth made me wish I were one. Wouldn’t it be awesome to wield a power much like the one she possesses? This book is a much appreciated tribute to all book lovers in the world. But that’s exactly where the specialty ends. I see four and five star ratings everywhere, and I’m sad to say that I can’t relate to the experience.



I drifted in and out of sleep while listening to the audiobook. The narration actually had a pretty great flow and was well animated. But the story failed to keep my attention. The pacing was a little slow and picked up after some filler scenes in the middle. When it was finally time for the big showdown, I was already too bored to care. If you were to ask me how it all went down, I honestly couldn’t be sure I’d be able to recount anything. Can someone please tell me what has become of Silas?

“You belonged in the library, as much as any book.”

The characters didn’t exist beyond their assigned roles. They also kinda felt like the cheap carbon copies of Will, Jem, and Tessa from The Infernal Devices. I enjoyed their banter immensely though. I liked Nathaniel and Silas mostly because their type of characters is always the most appealing and entertaining one to read. Otherwise, they were all just a group of two dimensional characters.

Elisabeth, the quiet bookworm who gets to save the world; Nathaniel, the tortured, good looking, and sarcastic male love interest who’s got a tragic past; Silas, the mysterious demon guy who’s secretly just a soft boi at heart; Katrien, the ever so helpful and always resourceful best friend; and Ashcroft, the bad guy with a hero complex.

Plotwise, it was predicatable. Not exactly a bad thing, but definitely made me yawn and roll my eyes quite a number of times. The concept of this book was astonishing, and the world building was interesting. I felt for Elisabeth through her love for books. However, I was just not 100% sold on how the plot developed. It’s a shame really because the cover is so gorgeous. I don’t think I’ll ever read this author again considering I also didn’t like her debut novel. I guess it couldn’t be helped that her books are not my cup of tea.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for emma.
1,785 reviews43k followers
January 16, 2022
Life is full of casual horrors.

For example, I just had to watch the greatest football team in NFL history my favorite team get absolutely trounced by a group of people who somehow look like cardboard cutouts of themselves. And that was entertainment.

Yesterday, my favorite menu item at the only fast casual dining experience I tolerate was discontinued, presumably to teach me, specifically, about the futility of the universe and the fleeting nature of happiness.

And we all have to do something called "growing up."

In spite of being twenty-(redacted), I try to avoid being aware of the fact that I am technically an adult. While I almost exclusively read adult fiction, I attempt to casually return to YA from time to time.

And lately, that has worked (checks notes) 0 percent of the time.

I think I just find YA fantasy...corny now.

In this case: The romance? Corny. The plot? Corny. The evil bad guy speeches? Corniest of all.

I liked the beginning of this, but the storyline felt like a series of 8-10 major plot points that each had approximately. 50 pages dedicated to them and it was...bizarre. This could have been 8 small stories, or been divided into chunks, shuffled, and republished, or had the middle 100 pages removed, and I would not have noticed the difference.

At the start, I was...well, not quite On Board for the romance, but at least somewhat appreciative of the fun dialogue between them.

But the banter fell off.

It all fell off.

The climax of this is just absurd. Books flapping their covers aggressively to kill demons and then doing the same to fix tears in the earth's fabric? OK. A 5'2 demon becoming a bigger demon who talks like a Marvel movie villain? OK.

I can't even say "it's not you, it's me." Because I don't even know anymore.

Bottom line: Every day I come closer to giving up.

--------------
pre-review

yeah okay sure fine whatever.

review to come / probably 2 stars

--------------
currently-reading updates

apparently this book, which i've had on my owned tbr for years, is similar to the infernal devices...thanks i hate it

clear ur sh*t book 51
quest 23: opulent cover
Profile Image for Zainab.
365 reviews465 followers
June 11, 2022
Since this is one of the most anticipated book of the year and not a lot of people have read it, I am going to keep this spoiler free.

The book started out great. We have our main character Elisabeth who is what most people would call 'innocent'. She isn't too smart- I mean I found her to be a bit too childish. Anyway, she's an orphan who works/lives in this Great Library and tries a bit too hard to impress her director.
Then something happens and she gets kicked out of the library and so this is where the story starts when this 'charming' young sorcerer Nathaniel takes her somewhere along with his mysterious servant Silas whom Elisabeth thinks of as 'remarkable' (don't ask me)


The Good:
•Elisabeth's positivity.
•Nathaniel's back story.
•The mysteries (albeit predictable)


The Bad:
•The dialogues- they were a bit too cheesy.
• The book is dragged. It could've easily been a 300 (or less) paged book.
•It was a bit too predictable.

All in all, it's not a bad book just a 'keep your expectations low' kinda book.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,092 reviews17.4k followers
Want to read
July 23, 2019
I don't even know why I'm adding this to my TBR.
YA fantasy and I broke up a while ago and I'm reluctant to rekindle this relationship.

But then I hear this book is a book about books and I mean, what can I do? I am weak. I will listen to this kind of temptation.
Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
122 reviews933 followers
July 20, 2019
THE REVIEW IS POSTED


"But there is always more than one way to see the world. Those who claim otherwise would have you dwell forever in the dark."


Wow. I haven't been moved by a book since ... I don't know ... months ago probably. This book was breathtaking. It was incredibly beautiful and so different than what I have ever read. What a fresh breath of air! and I even bought another copy of this book for my friend's birthday present and I had given it to her yesterday and when her face lit up with delight and I felt my heart was bursting with happiness because she liked it that I gave her this book. I was just so enthralled by this book that I wanted my friend to also read it. YES, the book was THAT good

I laughed. I giggled. I grinned. I cursed. I cried. This book made me feel a lot of emotions. IT IS LITERALLY THE BEST FEELING when you read a book and even the quotations in this book were beautiful. Wow. Now, I'm going to tell you in detail what I loved from this book.


The Plot

THE PLOT WAS SO GOOD *screams* It was so different that what I have ever read. So in this book there are grimoires. These are the books that can whisper, move and they can even transform into a monster, malefict, if they are provoked with a damage. SOUNDS SO AWESOME, doesn't it? and I would say that the pacing in this book was slow but not the kind of slow that made you want to throw the book. It was the perfect kind of slowness. It wasn't rushed and the book took time to explain things. I swear this book is such a fresh breath of air. The world in the book was so mesmerizing and I honestly don't know how many times I have whispered to myself that I wanted to live in the world of this book so bad.

description

I admit I didn't love the book instantly from the start but I kept reading it because I don't know why this book was just so intriguing and I wanted to keep reading it and I eventually fell in love with the book and the characters. It was inevitable for me to not fall in love with this book when it was such an incredible book.

The Characters

I LOVE THE CHARACTERS SO MUCH I wanted to cry. So firstly, I want to talk about Nathaniel. This guy ... where can I get a guy like him in my life? Nathaniel was just so cute, funny and such a fierce character. He made me squeal in delight and put my hand over my chest because he TOUCHED my cold heart. He made me laugh so many times and I don't laugh that often when I read so he made me laugh clearly said something here. Again, WHERE THE FUCK CAN I GET A GUY LIKE HIM? I would totally date a guy like him. ❤

description


Elizabeth was also the main character in this book and I ADORED her. She was such a fierce character, she did not give up easily when she had a problem and she honestly inspired me to not give up and to do my best to solve whatever problem I have in my life and on top of that Elizabeth was also a kind character. She is definitely on the list of the characters that have inspired me. If I could hug her to say my thanks, I would but I couldn't so I hug the book instead. Ms. Rogerson is such a brilliant author.

Silas was also one of my characters in this book. I don't want to explain you about him in detail because I don't trust myself enough to not slip a minor spoiler, but I can tell you that he's such a complex character and I loved him so much. I wanted to hug him. Well, basically I wanted to give a hug or a lot of hugs to Elizabeth, Nathaniel and Silas. These characters were wonderful and they made the book more intriguing, more incredible and certainly more beautiful. I loved love these characters.

The Romance

The romance was so beautiful and it completely stole my heart. I loved the interactions between Nathaniel and Elizabeth and the romance between them was so real and beautiful. They respected each other and loved each other. I want this kind of romance in my life ahhhh. The romance was definitely a slow burn romance. MY FAVORITE! but I do not really think it's an enemies-to-lovers kind of romance, I mean Elizabeth never hated Nathaniel but she wasn't exactly fond of him in the beginning. The development of their relationship was beautiful. JUST READ THE BOOK. IT IS SO GOOD.

the reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because for me 5 stars are for books that I will reread again and again. While I loved this book very much, I do not think I will reread it. But hey, we'll see whether I will ever reread this book or not because I absolutely loved this book.

Thank you so much for reading and liking this review. I appreciate it very much and I highly recommend you all to read this mesmerizing book. It is action-packed and it has incredible characters. This book is awesome! *clap hands* and I hope you all have an amazing weekend! ❤❤




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REVIEW TO COME SOON.

All I can say right now is that this book was wonderful and I had a lot of emotions reading it. I loved it and now I'm going to hug the book. Bye.


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AT LAST, I AM FREE FROM READING SLUMP and even in a good timing in which my examinations are ended. WOO HOO! Lucky me! Moreover, this book has slow burn romance and I'm not even gonna lie that it's actually the first reason I'm reading this book.

Have you read it? Or do you plan to?
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